World's first open-source car hits Geneva Motor Show

Open source is infiltrating the auto industry with EDAG's concept car. And this is no me-too knock-off of an established automobile.

Open source started as a software-development phenomenon, but it has grown far beyond those roots. As a case in point, EDAG presented an open-source car at the recent Geneva Motor Show, as AutoBlog reports.

Nor is EDAG's concept car a me-too knock-off of a popular car. AutoBlog calls out just a few of the EDAG's car's innovations, open source being one of them:

EDAG's open-source car EDAG

  • The use of (O)LED technology as both driver-configurable exterior lighting units and as a television screen-like safety feature that alerts those behind of road conditions;
  • Its 100% recyclable basalt fiber chassis (said to be at once lighter and cheaper than carbon-fiber or aluminum);
  • Or the fact that this is an open-source effort, with EDAG taking the lead but freely opening up the car's technologies to outside developers for improvement and modification.

It's not open source's first foray into the automobile industry, of course. In 2008 BMW and other automobile manufacturers released an open-source infotainment system . In both cases, open source is seen as a way to streamline the research and development process, making it more cost effective.

Whether it will is an open question, but one that the auto industry is apparently increasingly willing to ask.


Follow me on Twitter at mjasay.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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